When you’re in the earliest stages of a startup, you’ll always be short on three things: time, money, and people. It’s part of the challenge.
This is a story about creatively working around those limitations.
As Alex and I (Peter) neared a completed beta version of TwoGrand, I was pretty happy with the MVP product and design. There was just one asterisk – I hated the new user walkthrough.
It was one of the first things I ever designed in Photoshop, and it showed. I hadn’t revisited it in months, and alternated between convincing myself it was good enough for a first version and telling myself no one outside of my mom and girlfriend would ever signup for TwoGrand after seeing it.
Here it is, for posterity’s sake. Just promise me you’ll read on to see the final version, OK?
About two weeks before our self-imposed deadline to submit the app to Apple and Google, aided by another round of design laughingstock nightmares and some very well-timed inspiration from my girlfriend – and design extraordinaire – Cat, I resolved to give the walkthrough another go.
I knew I wanted the design to be photography centric, and I had an idea of how the website homepage could incorporate the same theme.
We needed several delicious-looking plates of food. We needed a beautiful table. We needed good lighting. We needed a camera. We needed a photographer.
Lucky for us, Cat and her roommate Jackie had the camera, photography, and food thing covered. They’re ridiculous chefs and Jackie’s a photography ace.
But about that table. None of us owned a table remotely good-looking enough to qualify. I suggested a park with wooden tables, but the whole food preparation thing made that difficult.
A few hours later, Cat sent me a text message. “Could we use our kitchen floor? The wood is nice… once we clean the dog’s hair off it.”
It was on.
We shopped, cooked, and photographed it all the next day. Here’s a sampling:
We had a blast and the food was amazing. The only question remaining – and the most important question – was whether the floor would make for a convincing table.
I spent the next day designing, and this is what resulted:
The feedback we received was almost universally positive. My walkthrough nightmares ceased. And yes, the website also featured the “table” in all its glory.
When all you have is lemons, make lemonade. Or when you’re a startup and all you have is a floor covered in husky fur, make a beautiful wood table and a compelling app walkthrough.
As of writing this, we’re live on Android and in the iPhone review queue. Download the app and check out the walkthrough for yourself!